UK looking at deal to remove China from nuclear project- report

© Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett FILE PHOTO: Car lights stream past a home near Dungeness nuclear power station in Kent, southern England

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is closing in on a deal which would remove China’s state-owned nuclear energy company China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) from involvement in building a new power plant, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

The newspaper said Britain was looking to take a stake in the 20 billion pound ($27.4 billion) project to build the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, eastern England, alongside France’s EDF.

That would result in CGN, which currently has a 20% stake in Sizewell, being removed from the project, it said, adding the plans could be announced as soon as next month. CGN and EDF declined to comment, the Guardian said.

“Nuclear power has a key role to play as we work to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile global gas prices,” a British government spokesperson said in response to the newspaper report.

“CGN is currently a shareholder in Sizewell C up until the point of the government’s Final Investment Decision. Negotiations are ongoing and no final decision has been taken.”

In July, the Financial Times reported that Britain was looking at ways to remove CGN from all new future power projects.

EDF called on the British government in June to deliver the legislation necessary to underpin the project, saying it was now essential..

On Friday, the London-based Times newspaper said Britain was in talks with U.S. nuclear reactor company Westinghouse about building a new atomic power plant on Anglesey in Wales, as the government seeks to reduce a reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile gas prices.

($1 = 0.7311 pounds)

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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